Thursday, March 08, 2007

Good news from Coldwell Banker Burnet President

As we begin 2007, I’m optimistic about the future, and I believe we are well positioned for a successful year.
Now is a perfect time for home buyers, thanks to interest rates that are still historically low and current tax laws that make home ownership more affordable. According to the Minneapolis Area Association of REALTORS®, affordability conditions have rebounded since last July to the highest point in 18 months.
In addition, there is a wonderful inventory of homes in our market in every price point. Consumers have a wealth of options in terms of the community they choose to move to and the style of home, including new construction, existing single-family homes, condominiums, town homes, co-ops, and lofts. Savvy consumers know that real estate is a great investment and a safe, secure way to build long-term wealth. Real estate in our marketplace has shown consistent appreciation through all market conditions.
This is also an ideal time for sellers to put their home on the market. The lower interest rates and favorable tax laws are giving consumers increased buying power and motivating them to look for a new home. According to the National Association of REALTORS® (NAR), most sellers are still seeing a very good return on their investment, with a median of more than 50 percent appreciation during the past six years. Sellers also benefit from favorable capital gains tax laws.
In addition, it’s important to emphasize that many of the recent national news media reports on housing trends don’t capture what’s happening in individual communities, especially in the Midwest. In our market, we have a diversity of industries and are not dependent on any one industry for jobs and growth. We also have a strong economy. The Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development recently reported that the state ended 2006 with 54,580 more jobs than at the end of 2005, the strongest job growth since 1999. In a report, the department said, "Our state’s economy continues to outperform the national economy in most areas…" This kind of positive economic news typically increases consumers’ optimism and motivates them to take advantage of strong buying opportunities.
We are already seeing growth in market activity, including more traffic at open houses, a larger number of showings compared to recent months, and multiple offers on homes that are well staged and priced right. This activity will increase even more when the weather warms up and we enter the busy spring buying and selling season.

Robin Peterson
President
Coldwell Banker Burnet

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